Last week I hosted a webinar on The Ins and Outs of Press Trips and how to make them valuable for all.
As I know a lot of our readers have or want a travel blog, I thought I would share my three top tips on taking press trips.
1. Press trips are not about the free travel
I know it sounds and looks like going on a press trip is the ideal job. And I don’t ever want to complain about it, as I love travel and am happy to take it in any form. It sure beats the hell out of teaching.
But, if you are wanting to get into travel blogging because you think it is a way to get free travel, then slam that car into reverse now and get the hell out.
Press trips are hard work. You have to do the hard yards to begin with to produce content and build an audience before you’ll even get the press trip opportunity. Then when you are on the trip you will be up at sunrise until the moon is high in the sky and you’ll be working the whole time. (Without pay!)
I remember on one press trip in Thailand, I had the DSLR camera around my neck, my phone in one hand, and my notebook in the other. I was juggling listening to the guide and writing notes, snapping pictures on the DSLR, snapping photos on the phone and then uploading them to instagram, as well as live tweeting and sharing on facebook. You gotta love it!
Seriously, you are better off paying for your own travels, then you can slow pace it and do what you want to do and when, without the need to be constantly connected.
The press trip is about experiencing a destination so you can share it with your readers to inspire them to travel and show them what they can do when they visit a particular area.
It’s not about YOU. (But, by all means still enjoy it and have fun, you worked hard to get there)
2. Choose your press trips carefully
The best way you can avoid a disastrous press trip is to choose very carefully before you go on one.
Never go on a press trip if you know you are not interested, your readers wouldn’t be interested, and you’ll know you hate it. Your readers want to hear about the good stuff and how they can do the same. Don’t fill your posts with stuff that is not relevant.
We recently pulled out of a press trip because they switched us from the food and wine tour (give us a hell yeah in the comments if you like those topics) to the Art gallery and Museum trip. I never even went to the Louvre in Paris.
Our readers are more outdoorsy, traditional culture and foodie lovers. I knew that I would be bored and would just transfer that over into my writing. A pure waste of time for everyone.
3. The best way to be invited on press trips
It is absolutely not about asking people for contacts so you can take the short cuts. Do the hard yards. (People will end up recommending you anyway if you do – far more powerful)
Create inspirational and informative content, build an engaged community, and network your butt off. You’ll get noticed soon enough and invited for the “free” travel.
btw: It ain’t free as the value exchange is called “work your butt off!)